Russia-Ukraine conflict

In 2022 we included a special module concerning the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Since the beginning of the war, data journalists have helped shed light on the truth by analysing propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation, or by helping us make sense of events by producing maps, charts, and visual explainers. We have previously presented an in-depth exploration of how journalists are navigating the conflict. Here, we wanted to see the extent to which the conflict has touched the data journalism community, and how data journalists believe the events brought by it have changed their jobs and the field.

Coverage of the conflict

One in five data journalists were involved in covering the conflict. This is comparatively less than coverage of the pandemic (44%), but while the pandemic is a global event touching local, national, and international news, the war, despite its global repercussions, has a much narrower spatial area of focus. When seen from this perspective, the fact that one fifth of the global data journalism workforce has been covering the conflict shows the significance of the event.

Coverage tasks

We asked those who covered the conflict about the specific tasks they carried out. Fact-checking was performed by more than half of them (52%). Verifying sources and media was a task for 45%. Only one in five communicated with on-the-ground reporters, while 7% performed on-the-ground reporting.


According to our respondents, the conflict has primarily increased hurdles for the industry. Most respondents believe the conflict has increased challenges around data verification (27% felt the impact at the company level and 45% believed on an impact at the industry level). However, many saw positive effects too, particularly improved awareness around existing resources (23% felt the impact at the company level and 34% believed in an impact at the industry level). While the general pattern between the field and organisation question is the same, there is a tendency for respondents to see stronger impacts at the field level than the organisational level.